FDA Approves New Drug, Olumiant, for Alopecia Areata

I recently came across an article that mentioned a new pill for alopecia. 

"FDA greenlights 1st treatment for sudden hair loss caused by autoimmune disease"

"The drug — part of a class of medicines known as JAK inhibitors — is the first approved treatment for alopecia areata.
Two Phase 3 Trials of Baricitinib for Alopecia Areata.

People suffering from a rare autoimmune disorder that causes their hair to suddenly fall out, often in clumps, now have a treatment option for the first time.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration approved baricitinib, a once-a-day pill developed by the drugmaker Eli Lilly to treat alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that triggers sudden hair loss. The drug was originally approved by the FDA in 2018 to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

The drug — part of a class of medicines known as JAK inhibitors — is the first approved treatment in the United States for the condition, which affects more than 300,000 people in the country each year, according to the FDA.

People with the autoimmune disease can experience hair loss anywhere on their body, including around the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The condition can develop at any age, though most people develop it during childhood or during their teenage years, according to the organization.

Alopecia recently gained national attention after actor Will Smith infamously slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars after the comedian made a joke about actor Jada Pinkett Smith, Smith's wife, who suffers from a different form of the condition than the one treated by Eli Lilly's drug.

Baricitinib helps regrow hair by preventing the body’s immune system from attacking hair follicles.

Two phase 3 clinical trials, involving a total of 1,200 patients with severe alopecia areata, found that about 40 percent of people who received a daily 4-milligram dose of the drug regrew all or almost all of their hair after 36 weeks.

That compares to the about 20 percent of people who received a lower 2-milligram dose of the drug and less than 6 percent of the people in the placebo group.

People in the trials had lost at least 50 percent of hair from their scalp before taking the drug.

The drug is a breakthrough for people with the autoimmune disorder, said Dr. Brett King, a Yale dermatologist who was the principal investigator for the two trials. Many use wigs or scarves to hide their condition.

My question is, would your try it? Or are some things better left alone?

SOURCE: NBC News:  FDA greenlights 1st treatment for sudden hair loss caused by autoim...

FDA's News Release: FDA Approves First Systemic Treatment for Alopecia Areata

 

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Comment by dreamscometrue on June 18, 2022 at 7:29pm

I agree @TurboK, I think if those afflicted can live with it, wouldn't be looking for support, or new medications to treat it.  I myself am one of those that are in it to seek the cause and find a solution.  I still think when it comes to inhibitors, thats off the track.  I think researchers are looking in the wrong direction, looking to quell the symptoms, not looking for causes.  There's a Dr in Mexico that treated a young lady with AU with antibiotics and Im sure some other proprietary combinations with success.  To me, the key is in the way AA, AT, and AU all present itself in the beginning.  It starts in circles and patches in circular shapes.  My mind thinks that looking at blood under a dark field microscope would reveal something that all AA et al have in common, a fungus, parasite or some sort of low grade infection that probably can be easily treated.  Its just that no one is looking in that direction except that one doctor. 

Comment by MARIA on June 21, 2022 at 8:16am

totally agree with you.
it's not easy to take all that risk with JAK if it's not permanent. Why don't doctors dig to find the real causes? Why risk all our health and go into the unknown?

Comment by Cheryl, Co-founder on June 21, 2022 at 1:03pm

Time for my opinion.  Personally, I would not try this new treatment.  I have had alopecia for more than 1/2 of my life now and to be honest for me nothing would change in my life if I grew back my hair tomorrow.  So, it is not worth the risk of the side effects for me.  

Comment by LeslieAnn Butler on June 21, 2022 at 5:03pm

Cheryl, I agree with you. I also have a theory that our out powerful immune response may help prevent us from contracting things like Covid, cancer, etc. But this is just a theory -- I would love to know others' experiences and opionions.

Comment by LeslieAnn Butler on June 21, 2022 at 5:04pm

I mean "opinions."

Comment by dreamscometrue on June 21, 2022 at 6:50pm

Its not a theory, its a fact.  Your body DOES have an immune system; adaptive and innate systems.  God created our bodies perfect, he knew what he was doing.  Its man and his zeal for trying to emulate what he cannot understand how it was created, and in his quest to figure it out, assist in destroying himself, hence disease etc. We are exposed to virome and bacteria DAILY in everyday life, which is good, because then your body will adapt and react, build an immunity and you carry on.  Your immune system, like a muscle needs exercise to stay strong.  And like muscles need protein and the right nutrients to stay strong, your body needs nutrients to keep your immune system functioning at its highest ability. 

Comment by LeslieAnn Butler on June 21, 2022 at 7:24pm

Dreamscometrue, I  meant that having this immune response, alopecians may be less likely to get cancer, Covid, etc.

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